Today we continue our Five Question series with noted industry heads, and up on the block is Dina Kaplan. Dina is a co-founder of blip.tv who also serves on the board of directors for the International Academy of Web Television — and worries that she might need to be funnier.
1. What’s the one big issue/law/attitude/restriction that you think is holding back the industry?
One attitude holding back the industry is a belief that the best content creators need to be paid upfront for the content they produce. Sometimes upfront payments are absolutely the right way, but often they are not. At blip.tv this week we sent out hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts to independent content creators, based on advertising that ran on their shows. What’s nice about this is that it’s a meritocracy. For the most part, the shows with the greatest number of views receive the largest checks. And advertisers get a terrific value, too, because we can guarantee views for them rather than asking them to place bets on hits.
2. What industry buzzword do you never want to hear again?
Social media. But I use it occasionally. Is that bad?
3. If someone gave you $50 million to invest in a company in this space, which one would it be?
If I could invest in one company right now it would be FreeWheel. The company that figures out how best to serve, and target, video ads will do extraordinarily well. These guys are the closest to getting there. I’d also spend some money on Roku and Boxee if there were any left over. Watching digital content on the TV set is super-satisfying but also a pretty profound thing. It’s what transforms digital media into, quite simply, media.
4. What was the last video you didn’t make yourself that you liked enough to spread to others?
I am constantly sending my parents clips from Old Jews Telling Jokes. And then I’m grateful my grandmother hasn’t submitted a joke (yet).
5. WILDCARD QUESTION: You’re one of the most prominent female executives working in online video today. What’s one benefit and one drawback to that?
I’m a big believer in the importance of women founders supporting each other, and I love spending time with other female Internet founders (and wish there were more of us). One benefit is that people tend to remember meeting you. One drawback is that I think you’re held to a different standard. And I don’t think people expect you to be funny. So I sometimes say things that are meant to be jokes that are taken seriously. Then again, it might just be that I should work on being funnier.
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